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Student FAQ's

 

What is a disability?

An individual with a disability is defined as any person who: 
"Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, or performing manual tasks), has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment."

 

What is meant by "is regarded as having such an impairment" in the definition of disability?

For example, a person with a facial disfigurement may not have an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, but others may regard him or her as having one due to how he or she appears.

 

Isn't "disability" and "handicap" the same thing?

A "disability" is a condition caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease that may limit a person's mobility, hearing, vision, speech, or mental function. A person may have more than one disability. A "handicap" is a physical or attitudinal constraint imposed upon a person; for example, stairs, narrow doorways, and curbs are handicaps imposed upon people with disabilities who use wheelchairs.

 

What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an individual without a disability. Some common academic accommodations include extended time on tests, use of peer note takers, use of computer with spell check, and provision of sign language interpreters.

 

How does a person become eligible to receive accommodations?

To become eligible, a person must have a documented disability and inform the College that he or she is requesting accommodations based on that disability. 

A student must:
1. Contact Disability Services; 
2. Provide specific documentation of the disability from a qualified professional; 
3. Consult with a counselor in Disability Services to determine appropriate accommodations.

 

Who determines the accommodation?

Disability Services staff determine the accommodations using:

  • Documentation of the disability from qualified professionals provided by the student
  • Information gathered from an intake process, and
  • Information from history of the disability.

The determination of reasonable accommodations considers the following:

  • Classroom or physical barriers,
  • The array of accommodations that might remove the barriers,
  • Whether or not the person has access to the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility without accommodations, and
  • Whether essential elements of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility are not compromised by the accommodations.

 

What is a note taker?

A note taker is another student, recruited by the faculty member, who agrees to provide copies of lecture notes taken during class.

 

Who is responsible for requesting an interpreter?

To receive interpreter services the student must contact ODS at least two weeks before the semester begins, place a request for interpreting services for the upcoming semester, and provide a current schedule. This process must be followed so that we can efficiently provide services and accommodations on the first day of class. If a student makes any changes to his/her course schedule, he/she must notify ODS immediately. ODS will have two weeks from the date of written notification to provide services for any changes to class schedules already in place.
For outside class requirements, such as field trips or other assigned activities, as well as meeting with professors during office hours, students should request an interpreter from Disability Services.
For interpreters or transcription services to be in place the first day of class during a Fall semester (August – December), requests must be received by July 15th; for the Spring semester, (January – May), requests for these services must be received no later than November 15th. For these services to be in place the first day of class for a May minimester, summer session I or II, requests must be made by April 1st. For a December minimester, requests must be made by November 1st.

If a student registers with Disability Services, will it show up on transcripts and/or diplomas?

No. The fact that a student is registered with our office or receives reasonable accommodations does not appear on student records. Students who receive reasonable accommodations do not receive a modified degree; they have earned the same degree as all other graduates of Blinn College.

 

As a high school senior, what do I need to do to attend Blinn College and register with Disability Services?

Students with disabilities go through the regular admissions procedures. Application materials can be found online or requested by contacting Enrollment Services. To request accommodations through Disability Services, first review what the documentation standards are for your disability and then submit your documentation. It can certainly help to work with your high school to ensure that your records are in order before you arrive.

 

How do students go about transferring to Blinn College and registering with Disability Services?

Students with disabilities go through the regular admissions procedures. To request accommodations through Disability Services, first review what the documentation standards are for your disability. Please be aware that just because one institution provides an accommodation, another institution may not provide the exact same accommodation.

 

Does Disability Services play a role in students with disabilities' admission to Blinn College?

No. Disability Services does not have a role in students with disabilities' admission to the institution. Please direct all questions to Enrollment Services.

 

Does Blinn College provide testing for learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders?

Blinn College does not provide comprehensive testing for either learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. Testing for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders must be obtained through an appropriate off-campus professional. Disabilities Services offers a referral list of licensed professionals.

 

Can Disability Services excuse absences?

No. Blinn College sets the attendance policies and class attendance is an expectation of Blinn College students. Disability Services staff can facilitate discussion of absences with instructors or departments on behalf of the student, but it is still up to the department's discretion whether or not absences are excused.

 

What tutoring is available through Disability Services?

The Office of Disability Services does not provide tutoring. However, there are student resources on campus such as the Learning Center that provides tutoring.

 

Does Blinn College provide sign language interpreters?

Yes. Blinn College has a third-party vendor that provides interpreting services and transcription.

 

Can my parents take care of all this for me?

While parents can be of assistance, the student is responsible for working with Disability Services and instructors. We prefer to work directly with students from the beginning as they will be responsible to work with their instructors and other Blinn College employees.

 

Can Blinn College forward a copy of my documentation to another school if I transfer?

No. While a student should always keep a personal copy of documentation, Blinn College will release a copy of your documentation upon receipt to the student. This request must include the student's Blinn ID, date of birth, date of request, and will be emailed to the students BUC email. This request must be signed and dated by the student.

 

Can Disability Services provide copies of documentation once is has been submitted?

Yes. However, the student must come into the Disability Services Office and make the request, in writing, for a copy of their documentation. Original documentation cannot be released, as it is part of the permanent university record.

 

Will a copy of my testing or Letter of Accommodation automatically be forwarded to my advisor, dean, etc.?

In order to protect each student's right to confidentiality, ODS does not provide LOAs to anyone but the student. If you would like for someone to have a copy of your letter, or to know of your accommodations, it is your responsibility and right to deliver that information to that individual.